Band Kaiser Franz Josef, DLD 2018
Gandalf Hammerbacher, Picture Alliance

Make Rock Great Again

Can the right song get your ad campaign to take off? Can music accelerate your business and what would you have to do in order to make it happen? These were questions Lars Bendix Düysen (Sony Music Entertainment), Nicole Lassak (Jägermeister), Sham (Kaiser Franz Josef) and Ralph Simon (Mobilium) addressed in one of the last panels on this year’s DLD.

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Entering the last panel on DLDs stage one might have thought they stumbled into the after party of this year’s conference. Kaiser Franz Josef, Austria’s most prominent rock band of the moment, opened the panel with a song, using the opportunity to put their motto and new campaign “Make rock great again” into action.

The campaign is the newest cooperation of Sony Music Entertainment, Kaiser Franz Josef and Jägermeister to accelerate their business. And it represents the opportunities brands and bands face in the age of social media and digitalization. By connecting a product like Jägermeister with a band like Kaiser Franz Josef they have the chance to explore new ways of reaching their target group. A prominent example is Vodafone’s 2016 ad for Giga Sharing that featured the song “Human” by the British singer ‘Rag’n’Bone’. The ad shows a young transgender-woman and her family, which struggles to accept her as the woman she is. Being the perfect fit, the song “Human” underlined the emotional campaign, which made it climb to the top of the charts again.

People long for real not just virtual moments

The ad hits a mark that Nicole Lassak observed in their target group of 18 to 24 year olds as well: “People long for real not just virtual connections and experiences.” Social media as well as Instagram and Snapchat are important tools for young people to express themselves. But to Nicole Lassak it is clear that they want real experiences they can actually share. Therefore, in the “Make rock great again” campaign Jägermeister not only offers virtual coverage, but also live events like concerts or meet and greets that fans can experience.

These social events bind the costumer much closer to the brand and have a long-lasting marketing effect. “Traditional marketing can’t give us the media reach a brand gets when shared in peoples personal memories on social media”, Nicole Lassak says. But as Sony Music Entertainment Manager Lars Bendix Düysen knows it is not enough to just fix a brand up with a band. “It’s about synergies between people who have the same vision.” Only if they fit together the bond will be successful. Sony’s role as a music company is to be the matching partner. The matching proccess itself is very much data driven: Who is the target group? What kind of entertainment do they consume? What is relevant content they want to see?

It seems like Jägermeister and Kaiser Josef Franz have found the synergy Lars Bendix Düysen was talking about. “It’s like the rock genre stopped in the mid nineties with grunge and just didn’t appear anymore. So our mission is to truly make rock great again”, says Kaiser Franz Josef singer Sham. Nicole Lassak agrees: “There is the potential for an audience in our young target group, that actually appreciates rock music again. And we want to bring it to them.”

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